President Basescu, physically assaulted at Constanta.
‘Honored’ by low turnout to polls, the elections for the European Parliament revealed the voters’ frustration and disappointment with politicians, regardless of their political color. The main targets were President Traian Basescu and Premier Victor Ponta. There were also other incidents. According to the Ministry of Interior, 59 complaints about possible misdemeanors or crimes were filed since the voting started, most of them in Bucharest, Dambovita, Dolj, Mehedinti and Giurgiu, plus 48 fines for infringements of electoral laws.
The president was both applauded and booed when he left the voting section. “Down with Basescu,” “You, dictator,” were among the slogans shouted by protesters. In their turn, the president’s fans reacted shouting “Shame on you!” to the opposite camp. While he was walking to the automobile, Basescu commented the protests saying that he was expecting boos, which is an assumed risk.
The president was the target of an even more unpleasant incident Saturday at Constanta, where a man spat him in the face as he was leaving the school-ship ‘Mircea.’ The man was promptly immobilized by SPP officers. His name is Adrian Zglobiu (39), a jobless local of Constanta. According to his lawyer, he told police that his gesture of spitting at the president was spontaneous and not something premeditated. He was charged with outrage and violent assault. Upon leaving the prosecutor’s office, Zglobiu told journalists that he was upset by the patriotic songs performed during the ceremony, “for Basescu.” “After he sold the fleet, he wants patriotic music?” the man mentioned. Asked by journalists to comment the incident, Basescu answered: “It’s up to you to qualify it.” The youngest daughter of the president, Elena Basescu said that the Constanta incident proves the moral misery of PSD, adding that “if we do not vote, we risk being spat at, all of us.” Despite his open conflict with the president, PM Ponta denounced the incident, denying any involvement of PSD and describing it as a reprehensible gesture that deserves being condemned and sanctioned.
Ponta, too, had to endure his share of boos, Saturday, as he was arriving at Gara de Nord in Bucharest, aboard a train coming from Craiova. A group of approximately 30-40 youths were awaiting him on the platform and shouted slogans against him. Later, Ponta said that the protesters were “professional interlopers” wearing tattoos, hired in revenge for the incident against Basescu at Constanta, which Ponta had nothing to do with.
On Sunday too, the premier endured some boos as he was leaving School No. 2 of Buftea, where he supported Gabriela Szabo as she voted. Two groups of people had gathered outside, some acclaiming, others booing him and shouting at him “Plagiarist!” Some youths asked Ponta why he said they were “ruffians” in a TV show. Ponta answered them saying: “You must have heard Basescu, not me.”
Criminal complaints for infringements of electoral laws
The Prefect of Ilfov County, Daniel Rasica, has notified the prosecutor’s office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ) regarding infringements of electoral laws, the Ministry of Interior announced Saturday. According to information published by the press and quoted by Mediafax, a party chief was hit in the head by a guardsman as she was entering a park of Otopeni, where electoral leaflets were being offered.
In its turn, PNL accused infringements of the electoral legislation, as the head of the Analysis Department of PNL, Dan Mihalache, announced that the liberals will report to Police that Gabriela Szabo, a PSD candidate in the Ilfov County, infringed the electoral laws by announcing whom she voted for.
PSD Cluj informed the County Electoral Bureau that PDL members send voters text messages urging them to vote in the European elections for the leader of the county branch, Daniel Buda. Representatives of PSD Cluj claimed that the SMS had the message: “Thank you for your confidence. Today you vote for Daniel Buda”, and the message was signed “Emil Boc – PDL”. PSD also complained to Police that a van covered with electoral posters of PMP was stopped Sunday in a street of Cluj-Napoca and its driver insulted a member of PSD Cluj.
Some local leaders preferred to convey their messages to voters on Facebook, such an example being the mayor of Buzau, Constantin Boscodeala who urged the people of the town to go to polls “together with their families and acquaintances” and vote for the PSD-UNPR-PC Alliance. Another complaint was filed by PSD Dambovita, regarding a number of stickers (very difficult to remove) that were glued on several automobiles, containing insulting messages against the leaders of PSD. In Gorj County, PDL reported an incident concerning several voters transported to a voting section in Baia de Fier by minibus, and submitted as evidence a video record showing 20 people boarding a minibus and receiving flip-flops from persons wearing red T-shirts.
Brawls and stolen ID cards
Teleorman Police opened a criminal case following an incident that occurred Sunday near a voting section in the town of Alexandria, where a man accused being beaten by a member of the youth organisation of a political party. According to police sources, the row started because the youth was upset when the man filmed him. The young politician allegedly assaulted the man, who complained to police.
PMP accused the mayor of Visina commune, Olt County, of attacking an electoral caravan, threatening and beating the three members of the People’s Movement Party, seizing their phones and breaking the door of their automobile. In Mures, two youths are probed for a brawl that occurred Friday evening, when three liberals that were distributing electoral posters were threatened with a gas pistol by other youths in a car sporting the logo of PDL.
In Bucharest, police looks into an incident which happened at a voting section within School 99, Sector 4, where members of another section wanted to vote in the European elections on supplementary lists, but received ballots with the candidates in the parliamentary elections for Constituency 8.
At Vaslui, 4 out of 5 the voting sections presidents from Dimitrie Cantemir commune, where elections are also hold for the office of mayor, were replaced Sunday at noon because they had left Saturday evening with their control stamps and with electoral lists. At Iasi, parties accused the Municipality of removing all the electoral billboards from the town, 24 hours before the end of the campaign.